>I was born in 1961. In those days parents didn’t involve themselves much in the activities of children. Oh, there were a few boys in Little League, but by and large kids went outside and played, without any (gasp) adult supervision.
Kids were responsible for their own entertainment. We weren’t enriched much in those days…no playdates and maybe, if you were lucky, you got piano lessons, and that’s it. We made up our own games and our own rules, and parents didn’t sit around spectating or cheering–they had too many important adult responsibilities for that nonsense.
My parents had very little idea what went on while I was out playing. They weren’t aware of my first kiss (at 5). They weren’t invited to my first “wedding” (at 7). And there are plenty of other things that my parents never knew about, like the time I played hooky in the 10th grade and went to Mexico with some friends for a day of surfing and partying on the beach and got arrested. The police let us go (no idea why except that God loves the foolish things of this world–namely me) and I was actually home on time and my parents never even knew I’d left the country.
When I had kids I joined the legions of hyper-involved moms. I was going to “KNOW” my kids. I was going to be involved, or so I thought.
Yesterday, I read a bulletin on myspace that my daughter had written. A myspace bulletin, for those who don’t know, is sort of like a….well, a memo that people send out to everyone in their myspace address book. Bulletins can be anything a person writes and forwards out, but most of these bulletins are silly questionaires like, “My favorite color is….” and “The last song I just listened to was …..” and “The last person I kissed was….”
So I opened my daughter’s bulletin (which I usually don’t because I already know what her favorite color is and who she last kissed) and found out that her favorite game growing up was “Viking Burial at Sea”.
Apparently, my daughter and my son used to build little ships out of craft sticks (otherwise known as popsicle sticks) and load them with Lego people and set them aflame in our swimming pool. I had no idea. None. Where was I during these Viking Burials at Sea? Granted, once they were in their early teens and swam very well I didn’t sit by the pool watching them, but you’d think I’d notice something like flaming boats in the pool. The realization that, despite my (obviously imagined) intense parental involvement, my children came up with activities of which I was blissfully and ignorantly unaware is disconcerting to say the least. And that’s not all.
Today I went shopping. No. I didn’t go to the store. I went browsing in the neatly stored boxes in our now nicely organized storage shed. I was specifically looking for Raggedy Ann and Andy. These beautiful dolls were made many years ago for my children by a dear old aunt. I want to display them in my new guestroom. Foolishly, I allowed my children to actually play with these dolls instead of wrapping them in mothballs and storing them away, and so they are a little worse for the wear, but they are still very beautiful and precious. Andy needs some repair work and both need a cleaning, but otherwise they aren’t too, too bad.
Raggedy Andy was laying on the table when my son came home and informed me, “Oh, he’s tatooed.” WHAT? “Oh yeah, when I was little I tatooed him.” WHERE? “On his back. I tatooed a big cross on his back.” “Oh, and I think there is one on his arm, too.”
Lo and behold, I unbuttoned Raggedy Andy to find this:
My son claims to have done this when he was 5. Before this day and finding this out, if you’d put a knife to my throat I would have denied that my sweetly sheltered 5 year old even THOUGHT about tatoos much less was secretly tatooing his Raggedy Andy.
I am now left to wonder what else I’m going to find out as they get older. I doubt during our homeschool days they were able to make it to Mexico to get arrested, but now I’m not so sure.
ETA: On further investigation, I found out that my BROTHER was in on the Viking Burials at Sea. He’s got young kids still. It isn’t too late for me to get my revenge.